Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Writers Wednesday: The Slings and Arrows of Outrageous Writing Fortune!

Heidi Rice talks about her lost six months in 2015... And her super busy start to 2016! And what exactly it all has to do with Hamlet...

My only release in 2015!
I had a bit of a lost year in 2015 when it came to book releases, and productive work frankly.... After finishing the revisions on my first women's fiction title in January, I only had one major deadline - for the Fairy Tales of New York continuity book I had agreed to do with Amy Andrews, Kelly Hunter and Lucy King. I loved brainstorming and writing Tempting the Knight for Tule, but once it was finished, and had been released in June, I had no other contract deadlines for 2015... Because Mira UK had pushed back the release of my first women's fiction book to February 2016, the second book on that contract now wasn't due in till mid 2016. So began six months of pratting about, writing bits of that second book, and doing proposals for other series lines to replace the gap in my career left by the demise of KISS in 2014...

I'm not gonna lie to you, it was a stressful and not all that productive time writing-wise. There's nothing like the failure of a line that you loved writing for to really knock your confidence. Suddenly I was asking myself questions like, can I really still do this? Was I mad deciding to take time out to write a longer book? Maybe I should jack this in and go back to journalism? Fun stuff like that. Seriously The Prince of Denmark had nothing on me and my voice of doom.

Luckily I had some great help from my writing mates - Abby Green, Fiona Harper, Iona Grey and Scarlet Wilson - who were kind enough to tell me to stop being an idiot! And the massive ego boost of getting a RITA nomination for 10 Rules to Sex-Up a Blind Date didn't hurt either - and also gave me an excellent excuse to go to the RWA conference in NYC and re-immerse myself in why I wanted to do this job in the first place...

But I also learned an important lesson over those six months... Ultimately the only thing you can control is your writing. Everything else is in the hands of the writing gods (who just happen to look like Jamie Dornan and Chris Hemsworth btw). And after half a year of panic and procrastination and false starts things finally started to look up. All in the space of about a week...

I got the cover and blurb for my women's fiction novel now called So Now You're Back. Yum! It was actually happening....



Tule invited me to write a Bad Boy Short.... Hell Yeah!

And Harlequin offered me a two-book Presents contract on the strength of one of those many proposals. YAY!

My Tule short...
But then suddenly I had a mad scramble on my hands. I had two books to finish - the Bad Boy Short, now called Daring the Bad Boy, was due in at the beginning of January. The first Presents was due at the end of January. I also had to do a total redesign of my website, set up a newsletter (the first one has yet to be written!),  create a proper author page on Facebook, redesign my blog and judge the Scantilly Tales competition. And then of course there was also a family Christmas and New Year to fit in somewhere too (and buying presents for my guys and my EIGHT nieces and nephews is no joke! ). But I'd never been happier. Because as stressful as this job is at times, it's always better to be writing than worrying about writing.

Now it's February and I've got that Presents to my editor, Daring the Bad Boy is out and proud, my website is about to launch, So Now You're Back will be out on 25th and I'm looking forward to two more projects to finish this year - the second Presents and the second women's fiction book - not to mention a glitzy trip to the RNA awards do in March to cheer on my super brilliant writing mates Scarlet and Iona...

So thank you Chris and Jamie, for finally pulling your oars out! About time too...

Have you had any major ups and downs in the last year? How is the new year looking writing wise? I'd love to know I'm not the only one riding this rollercoaster.

Heidi is currently writing her second women's fiction book, doing promo on her two new releases... And looking for a new posh frock for the RNA awards in March. Not necessarily in that order.




3 comments:

  1. Hey Heidi! Yep, have a gap with writing now, and realised if I don't start steering the ship, it'll happen again next year. That though I'm producing all the time in my head, it doesn't count unless I set my fingers to typing...and fast.

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  2. It's so hard sometimes to stay focussed... Especially if you're a champion procrastinator like I am. Good luck with getting stuck in again.

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    1. Thanks! I'm going to take that luck and use it. And yes, that procrastination thing is a killer.

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